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About Us

What is a Safe Community?

A safe community is a place that is attractive to live, work and visit. A safe community is a liveable community, where people can go about their daily activities in an environment that without fear, risk of harm or injury. It increases community well-being by creating an infrastructure in local communities to increase action by building local partnerships and collaborative relationships.

Community safety is not only about reducing and preventing injury and violence. It is about well being, building strong, cohesive, vibrant, participatory communities. Homes, the roads, public spaces and the workplace are safe for everyone to enjoy. This is exactly what the Safe Communities Foundation New Zealand (SCFNZ) does for community development – through leadership and collaboration, to create safer communities to work, play and live.

The majority of community-based injuries and accidents are preventable and predictable – it is this premise that forms the basis for everyone’s safety. Each community or local area is different - each safety approach meets the unique needs of the people, their goals and the community values, working together for better outcomes. SCFNZ specifically supports communities to adopt the Safe Community model to increase well-being and become effective advocates and enablers of injury and violence prevention.

As part of the process, all relevant parties are brought together to complete the safety review outlined by the Pan Pacific accreditation process. By linking all relevant parties, a safe community that stays safe is created. Safety is kept at the top of every community’s priorities by annual check-ups and reaccreditation every 5 years.

How many Safe Communities do we have in New Zealand ?

Currently, just under 70% of New Zealanders live in an accredited Safe Community.There is no ‘one size fits all’ formula for Safe Communities.Each area creates its own structures, priorities and activities that are appropriate and responsive to local needs and conditions.Local authorities are usually engaged, along with key stakeholders including Police, ACC, Fire & Emergency NZ, District Health Boards, local Iwi, and other community agencies. See the full list of accredited Safe Communities, and their priorities, initiatives and outcomes.

Safe Communities Foundation New Zealand

As the visible champion in community-based injury prevention and safety promotion, Safe Communities Foundation New Zealand (SCFNZ) works for the people of New Zealand, by building local partnerships and collaborative relationships.

SCFNZ is a non-profit organisation with charitable trust status, so all funds go back into safety for the community.

SCFNZ has both the capacity and capability to provide ongoing services to the local, regional, national and international Safe Communities community, with dedicated staff and a Board of Trustees provides governance. The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) fund SCFNZ jointly.


2017 - 2020 STRATEGIC PLAN



International Safety Standards

Based on international safety standards, Safe Communities is recommended as an effective approach by the World Health Organization (WHO). This initiative sparked community action around the world leading to Safe Communities through injury prevention and safety education. SCFNZ can draw on global research and resources in injury prevention, safety management systems and crime prevention through environmental design, for safe community development.

SCFNZ is a Support and Accrediting Centre of the Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network (PPSCN), which brings together Safe Communities from New Zealand, Australia, United States of America and Canada – working closely on injury prevention and community safety management systems. The PPSCN is currently in the process of developing official relations with the WHO.

Sustainable Development Goals

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development 2030 were born at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.These replace the Millennium Development Goals 2000-2015 which focused specifically on developing countries.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) goals and 169 targets set out a universal agenda to achieve sustainable development globally, known as Agenda 2030. The broad goals are interrelated though each has its own targets to achieve. They bring together the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. They apply to all countries.The SDGs cover a broad range of social and economic development issues. These include poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice.


The driving philosophy of the ‘Safe Communities’ movement, established in Sweden in the 1980s, is to promote a culture of safety, and to prevent injuries in all areas, for all ages, in all environments and situations, involving government, non-government and community sectors. The Safe Communities concept was originally launched as an official World Health Organisation (WHO) term in their General Program in the end of the 1980’s. The co-operation between WHO and the Safe Community Movement started in 1986 and began its formal existence at the First World Conference on Accident and Injury Prevention held in Stockholm, Sweden in September 1989. In the Manifesto for Safe Communities, the resolution of the conference 1989 stated that the International Safe Community movement should work with “WHO Health for all” as a vision. The ground pillars in the Stockholm manifesto are:

  • All human beings have an equal right to health and safety
  • Accident and injury prevention requires coordinated action by many groups
  • Health sector have a crucial role in collecting information on injured people, injury patterns, causes of injuries and hazard situations
  • Local programs must include all citizens and focus on the most vulnerable
  • Evaluation both of the process and outcome of a safety promotion program is important
  • An international development work for safe communities is necessary

Brief History Safe Communities in New Zealand

  • In 1995 the NZ Public Health Commission and ACC worked in partnership to pilot the 'safe communities' model in NZ as part of the NZ Community Injury Prevention Programme (CIPP).Waitakere and Waimakariri were the two communities to achieve Safe Communities accreditation in 1999 as part of the CIPP programme.
  • The high costs, associated with accreditations being undertaken by representatives from Europe, highlighted the need to establish Safe Communities Foundations responsible for accrediting Safe Communities within their own countries.
  • In 2004 the New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy (NZIPS) Secretariat and ACC assisted with the establishment of the SCFNZ to support the development and accreditation of Safe Communities. SCFNZ is the only entity within New Zealand that is able to assess and confer Safe Communities accreditation status to communities in New Zealand. It was established to specifically support communities become effective advocates and enablers of injury and violence prevention at community level, working with with the existing and new community coalitions to increase well-being through growing and strengthen community safety activities, to create safer environments, and increase the adoption of safer behaviours.
  • SCFNZ is a non-government organisation with charitable trust status, and is a Safe Community Support and Accrediting Centre of the Pan Pacific Safe Community Network (PPSCN). SCFNZ adopts both public health and community development principles in its approach to increasing well-being through safety promotion, injury and violence prevention. SCFNZ also aligns to the theory of Injury Prevention as Social Change (McClure RJ, et al. Inj Prev June 2016 Vol 22 No 3. webinar) reframing injury prevention at the population level through a systemic approach.
  • 2010 Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network is established to further support Safe Communities. SCFNZ supports and encourages community governance groups to build safety capacity and achieve recognition as Pan Pacific Accredited Safe Communities.Since inception there has been exponential growth of Safe Communities within NZ.